With exactly five weeks to go, today brings a rather underwhelming day on the polling front. Color me pessimistic, but I expected this to be a better polling day for Obama than it turned out to have been. I also expected it to be a much more robust day of polling than it has been.
Rather than the deluge of pro-Obama numbers which I expected, we were instead treated to a rather anemic trickle of 17 individual polls, with decidedly mixed results. The tracking polls also failed to give us much guidance as we head into the month of October.
All of the numerical goodness beneath the fold.
Inexplicably, we have yet another day with relatively few national numbers, apart from the four tracking polls. Only one poll was released late this afternoon, and it is mixed news for the Obama campaign. While the ABC News poll continues to give Obama the lead, that lead is considerably less than last week. ABC has it at 50-46. One week ago, it was 52-43.
Incidentally, the "fifth" tracking poll (GWU/Battleground), which I have never used because it is not a daily poll, apparently shows Obama in the lead. If that seems unremarkable to you, it is worth noting because it is the FIRST time that has happened. Even as Obama led the four major tracking polls by an average of 5 points last week, GWU/Battleground had McCain up 2.
The average of the "Big 4" today was exactly seven percent. The Research 2000 tracking poll has Obama leading by ten, while the other three pollsters all had Obama leading by six points. Gallup gave McCain back a couple of points (although that might be a function of a very good Friday dropping out for the Democrat), while the other three pollsters have Obama up by an additional single point.
The most disquieting news, from my perspective, was a decidedly mixed set of results in state-by-state polling. Of the nine presidential polls released today, five went in the direction of Obama (vis-a-vis the Pollster trend averages), while four went in the direction of McCain. This is a very different tale than the one told yesterday, when all but one of the state polls went in the direction of Obama.
American Research (ARG) delivers the most stunning blow, releasing a trio of polls in battleground states, all of which gave the narrow lead to the Republicans. PPP gives Florida to the Democrats. They are a Democratic firm, but they have drifted over to the realm of independent polling. Their record in the primaries was solid, but their results drift leftward more often than not. Some late polling giving Obama the lead in both Virginia and Ohio helped to improve the mood.
ARIZONA--Rasmussen: McCain 59%, Obama 38% (McCain)
FLORIDA--PPP: Obama 49%, McCain 46% (Obama)
GEORGIA--SurveyUSA: McCain 52%, Obama 44% (Obama)
INDIANA--SurveyUSA: McCain 48%, Obama 45% (McCain)
NEVADA--American Research: McCain 49%, Obama 47% (McCain)
NORTH CAROLINA--American Research: McCain 49%, Obama 46% (McCain)
OHIO #1--SurveyUSA: McCain 49%, Obama 48% (Obama)
OHIO #2--InsiderAdvantage: Obama 47%, McCain 45%
PENNSYLVANIA--Muhlenberg College: Obama 49%, McCain 41% (Obama)
VIRGINIA #1--American Research: McCain 49%, Obama 46% (Obama)
VIRGINIA #2--InsiderAdvantage: Obama 51%, McCain 45%
The big headline today is a new public poll showing a toss-up in the Georgia Senate race. Given that SurveyUSA also has Obama considerably closer than almost every other recent poll in Georgia, I am smelling a possible outlier. I'd love to see InsiderAdvantage or Rasmussen in here for some confirmation.
Aside from that, we have a couple of favorable internal polls for Democrats, as well as a public poll out of Connecticut that seems to take another member of the Democratic Class of 2006 off of the endangered list.
CT-02--U. of Connecticut: Rep. Joe Courtney (D) 50%, Sean Sullivan (R) 23%
GA-SEN--SurveyUSA: Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) 46%, Jim Martin (D) 44%
IN-GOV--SurveyUSA: Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) 53%, Jill Long Thompson (D) 37%
MI-09--Grove Insight (D): Gary Peters (D) 41%, Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R) 37%
NC-GOV--PPP: Pat McCrory (R) 44%, Beverly Perdue (D) 41%
TN-SEN--Global Strategies (D): Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) 50%, Bob Tuke (D) 38%